On the same day that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP stated he believes diesel has a ‘valuable role’ in the right circumstances, Audi added an additional diesel model to the A7 Sportback lineup.
Although clearly planned before Grayling’s comments, it’s a reminder that not all manufacturers have abandoned the notion of diesel power. In fact, the 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine in this ’45’ power output level A7 features mild-hybrid technology, and has been subject to the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) fuel consumption and emissions regime.
Performance under the WLTP tests show a potential for a combined 50.4mpg, with CO2 emissions rated as 147g/km. Respectable numbers for a sizeable car with 228hp and 369lb-ft of torque, and one that sends power to all four wheels via a Quattro drivetrain. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard, whilst 0-62mph takes 6.5 seconds, with top speed limited to 155mph.
Audi claims that the 48-volt mild-hybrid system fitted to the A7 Sportback 45 TDI Quattro is the star of the show, creating fuel savings of 0.7 litres per 100 kilometres. In real-world conditions, this is achieved by shutting down the engine whilst coasting at speeds between 34 and 99mph. A lithium-ion battery is also available to store power generated during recuperative braking, further boosting efficiency.
Of note is the stop-start system, which makes use of the standard-fit front camera. In traffic, this is used to recognise when the vehicle in front has started moving, starting the engine back into life when needed. The stop-start system is also able to work at speeds of up to 13mph.
Despite now being the cheapest route into A7 Sportback ownership, Audi promises that the 45 TDI Quattro is still well equipped. Sport specification cars include features such as MMI Navigation Plus, LED lights front and rear, lane departure warning, and a rear-facing camera. S Line adds larger 20-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, and fancier HD Matrix LED lights.
Available to order now, £52,240 marks the starting point for 45 TDI Quattro Sport models, with S Line pricing beginning at £55,140. The rest of the A7 Sportback range includes the more powerful 50 TDI Quattro diesel, and the 55 TFSI Quattro turbocharged petrol model.